2014.8.8 Now Playing
Super Virgin (19)
The title says it all.
“Super Virgin” Won-jun (Baek Seung-gi) has never had a relationship, nor a sexual encounter.
It’s a familiar plot, albeit with a Korean twist since the “super virgin” is somewhat familiar in conservative contemporary Korean society.
As the formula requires, there is the hottie, known for her looks throughout the town in which our bashful hunk-to-be resides.
Her name is Ji-na (Park Ji-na) and although she’s just a second-hand bookstore clerk, she has more than captivated the heart and imagination of Won-jun.
His love goes unrequited until the day Won-jun is given a new body by a mad scientist.
With an avatar to strut around in, the world becomes Won-jun’s oyster. Ji-na is smitten, too, with the facade she doesn’t know is Won-jun.
But will the pseudo-love last? The film is unique in that the lead is also the filmmaker. And although it’s his first time directing, Baek Seung-gi will no doubt have the viewers laughing in a film that’s relatable to anyone who’s been on the sad side of an unrequited love.
The Pirates (12)
In “The Pirates,” director Lee Seok-hoon makes an ambitious bid to depict intense swordplay between the pirates, bandits and royal forces both at sea and on dry land.
They are on a mission to find the missing guksae, the state seal. The problem is that sometimes the plot is too jumbled to take in.
“Pirates” is a family-friendly adventure flick in the same comedic vein as “Kundo: Age of the Rampant.”
The plot follows a similar template as the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, where the story line is strongly driven by the search for something with much honor or money at stake.
While the fountain of youth is the object of desire in the Hollywood blockbuster’s latest installment, in “The Pirates,” it is the guksae swallowed by a giant whale on its way back from China’s Ming Dynasty, which endowed the seal to the newly founded Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).
The pirate clan is led by the female captain Ye-wol, played by Son Ye-jin, but it isn’t long before Kim Nam-gil as the goofy leader of the mountain bandits joins the fun.
The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) as Hercules. Who could think of a better fit?
The wrestling star, who has made the successful transition to film, again reminds us just how he made it; he’s all brawn, and he sure does walk the walk.
Our hero is muscular, although his lines are corny at times: “Do I look afraid?” and “I am Hercules!” among them. But still, the lead character isn’t known for his brains and it’s quite easy to get lost in a tale most people are familiar with.
Hercules is said to be a demigod son of Zeus.
Although he has a legendary past, having completed the 12 labors, he is betrayed by Hera and his previous successes become history.
He is now the leader of a band of mercenaries comprising the prophet Amphiaraus (Ian McShane), the thief Autolycus (Rufus Sewell), the warrior Tydeus (Aksel Hennie), the archer Atalanta (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) and the storyteller Iolaus (Reece Ritchie).
One day, Hercules is propositioned by Ergenia (Rebecca Ferguson), on behalf of her father, Lord Cotys (John Hurt), to train the armies of Thrace. By doing so he gets entangled in a web of deceit that will have him wondering who the real villain is.
You’re Next (19)
Horror, Supense / 95 / English
Although the film was released in 2011, “You’re Next” is hitting the South Korean box office just in time for summer 2014.
Without any big names, the film follows the quintessential American slasher-film formula. Erin (Sharni Vinson) joins her boyfriend at a family reunion in his Missouri vacation home. While the house and the family seem perfect at first, before long their lives are in jeopardy when a slew of attacks unfold.
Of course, like all good slasher films, the phones stop working and family members get slaughtered one by one. Before long the perpetrator is identified as a man with a lamb mask and it becomes apparent that the attack was premeditated.
Roaring Currents (15)
Drama, Action / 128 / Korean
In its depiction of the great Battle of Myeongnyang in the late 1500s, “Roaring Currents” is sensational.
The battle, which saw 12 Korean vessels triumph over 330 Japanese ships, is a wonder to behold. Of course, the battle wouldn’t be complete without the portrayal of the man behind the feat, Admiral Yi Sun-sin (Choi Min-sik).
Although the “Oldboy” star may seem like an odd choice to play the upstanding admiral, it’s not the drama or the role of Yi that takes center stage in this summer blockbuster, despite the intentions of the filmmaker.
As much as director Kim Han-min wanted to highlight the inner turmoil of Admiral Yi, the struggle within fails to transcend and at times the human drama is a bit too melodramatic.
To compensate, the cannon balls flying left, right and center as well as the roaring currents and the onslaught of Japanese ships are sure to set hearts racing. Once at sea there is hardly a dull moment, and without words Choi’s Yi seems to shine, in contrast to when he was on land.
Guardians of the Galaxy (12)
Sci-fi, Action / 122 / English
Every once in a while Vin Diesel shows his tender side by taking part in a children’s film. It’s as if he’s trying to show that he is indeed capable of other genres away from gun toting and drag racing. “Guardians of the Galaxy” is Diesel’s next soft flick. With characters that look so ridiculously colorful they could only amuse rather than frighten, “Guardians of the Galaxy” plays out much like so many of the action fantasy films that are a hit with kids. But adults will still get a few laughs out of the narrative that also boasts Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana.
Peter Quill (Diesel) is a half-human, half-alien pilot who is on the run after stealing a mysterious orb.
How to Train your Dragon (12)
Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon Toothless have grown up, and Hiccup faces mounting pressure from his ruling father Stoick (Gerard Butler) to step up as rightful heir and take command of his town. But Hiccup simply isn’t interested and attempts to find a way out. On an outing, he encounters a stranger - who also has a dragon - whom he first mistakes for a foe.
But upon being taken hostage, Hiccup discovers the identity of the masked rider and his world is suddenly turned upside down. Personal problems aside, a greater danger looms as an evil master plots to kidnap and destroy all the dragons. Stoick sets out to find his missing son, and before long the fate of all those who are dear to Hiccup hangs in the balance.